INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 233 The earliest explorer of the flora of Assam was Major Jen- kins, who transmitted to Sir W. Hooker very extensive collec- tions. Wallich, Griffith, and McClelland visited the valley in 1835, to investigate tjie then recently discovered tea forests, and Griffith returned to it more than once, so that its vegeta- tion is now well known, Mrs. Mack and Mr. Simons have also enriched the*Hookerian Herbarium with many interesting As- sam plants. The Ranunculus Chinensis, a well marked Chi- nese species, occurs nowhere else in India;" and Griffith has pointed out a multitude of instances of similarity between the floras of these two countries, in his able Report on the culti- vation of the tea-plant in the Transactions of the Agricultural Society of Calcutta. The manufecture of tea has now been carried on for some years with considerable success in Upper Assam, but the wild tea (whose abundance in the forests of some parts led to the attempt in the first instance) is no longer used for that purpose. Griffith has given a general ac- count of the -botany of the Assam valley, in his Report on the tea cultivation already alluded to; as also in his "Remarks on a collection of plants made at Sadya, in Uppet Assam," published in the Calcutta Asiatic Society's Journal, and in his private journals. He mentions having collected 1500 species, and computes that the whole flora must amount to at least 6000,—an estimate which, like all such made on similar data, is greatly exaggerated, and probably doubles the actual amount. 3. NAGA AND KHASIA HILLS. The mountain range which bounds Assam on the south is known by a great diversity of names in different parts of its course, according to the different tribes by whom it is in- habited. The only part of the range which is well explored is that called the Khasia hills, across which a good road runs, by which a communication is kept up between Silhet and Gowahatti, the capital of Assam. These mountains have been explored botanically by Wallich and Griffith, and more recently l>y ourselves.